Profoundly disturbing and exceptionally well made, The Hills Have Eyes is a masterpiece in terror. The story begins with your average all-American family who is traveling across the country to California. They break down in the desert and are quickly attacked by a family of vicious cannibals. The movie asks a simple question: "What are you willing to do in order to survive?" What follows is 90 minutes of cinematic perfection by writer/director Wes Craven [Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream].
The Hills Have Eyes stars a young Dee Wallace [She played the mom in E.T.] and the super creepy Michael Berryman [The Devil's Rejects]. Everyone in the cast is great and Craven pulls terrific performances from the entire cast. The sense of dread and tension in this movie is unrelenting, and that's a good thing. This movie is so scary because there are no fantasy elements here. Craven not only makes us believe this could happen, he also makes us believe it could happen to us! Hills is not escapist fare, it makes us confront human nature at it's most brutal and unimaginable worst.
This movie is definitely not for the faint of heart. However, it is quite possibly the best of its kind. Hills cannot be viewed anywhere legally online that I know of but the two disc DVD release that was done by Anchor Bay is the best print of the film I've seen. It also includes two excellent featurettes "Looking Back on the Hills Have Eyes" and "The Films of Wes Craven." Don't miss The Hills Have Eyes. It is a powerful and thought-provoking film, indeed.
A remake of Hills was done in 2006 by horror director Alexandre Aja [High Tension] with Wes Craven producing. The remake is quite good. However, Aja ups the gore until it almost crosses over into torture porn which is something I dislike greatly and find insulting. The script is good as well and is a nice update on the story. All things considered, I think the original is better.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.